NEW DELHI: In a bid to increase popular confidence in the fledgling opposition alliance, satraps from the anti-BJP camp met late on Wednesday evening and decided to have pre-poll alliances and a common minimum programme.

It was felt that poll pacts and a programme of governance would enhance the credibility of the combine given the scepticism that the coming together of different parties was only to contest polls against BJP. Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu, AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal and National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah met at NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s residence for detailed discussions on the way forward for the combine. The presence of Rahul and Kejriwal on one platform is significant in the wake of speculation if Congress and AAP can forge an alliance to take on BJP in the capital.

Earlier in the day, Rahul and Pawar held a separate meeting to thrash out seat sharing in Maharashtra. Pawar said the distribution of seats had been finalised though he refused to give details.

The evening meeting came on the day the opposition held a joint rally at Jantar Mantar to protest against the “injustices” of the Modi government. The leaders felt a need to further strengthen their newly formed ties which have anti-BJPism as the glue. Later, Rahul said, “We will work together to defeat BJP.” He, however, said there was no decision on poll tie-ups in Bengal and Delhi. Mamata Banerjee said the parties would forge pre-poll alliances and added Rahul had been given the responsibility of drafting the CMP.



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